Juice and Joy for Tuesday, January 25, 2011
For the past twenty three years I have used the weekends prior to a retreat weekend to prepare for it. I follow my little check list and with each prepping piece done I know that it moves me closer to show-time, the actual weekend retreat. The actual retreat itself is usually a grace-filled by-product of the community comprised of children and attending adult staff, and, the always impossible to quantify retreat theme itself and where it might take us.
Our theme, “Praying with our hands and our feet,” I believe, is a variation of the African proverb, “When you pray, move your feet.” For our purposes, given this retreat weekend is for children in elementary school, the action statement of “praying with our hands and feet” works better then the original.
But the proverb, “when you pray, move your feet” has been with me now for some time. (Some themes do this…they move into your heart and soul and set up shop way ahead of time and begin having a subtle influence on everything you do!) As I pray for, and into the actual upcoming retreat, I am also keenly aware of the many talented and dedicated adult staff who make these glorious weekends happen time after time. And as we all pray, I know too that feet are indeed moving…; moving to shop for food and supplies; feet are moving to load the trailer, pack automobiles, unpack at the retreat, and feet are ever moving all weekend, setting up, taking down, playing games, walking into worship, playing out in the snow, sweeping floors, and eventually packing it all up again to leave.
The photographer in me too has followed feet and legs for decades, the grace and tension in them, from burst to rest to thumping to the beat of music. Heck, when we pray, why not throw in arms and hands too, and have a raucous symphony? Now that’s what I call, a movement, musically and spiritually.